THX-1138 SPECIAL EDITION
Starring: Robert Duvall, Donald
Pleasance, Maggie McOmie, and
Don Pedro Colley
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 88 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: George Lucas
Executive Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Producer: Larry Sturhahn
Writer: George Lucas and Walter Murch
Address Comments To:Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Duvall plays the title role, a worker bee in an underground totalitarian society that drugs its citizens and offers them sex and violence on their television sets. THX doesn’t realize that his female roommate, LUH, has diluted their drugs. THX begins feeling ill and tries to seek help at one of the government’s automated counselors, who appears as a robot monk mouthing platitudes about consumerism and the State.
THX and LUH make love against the laws, and they are both arrested. After being tortured, they are separated. THX is placed in a large white room without boundaries with a group of other men. The robot policemen don’t seem to be watching them, so THX starts walking away into the vast white expanse. He is followed by an oily ex-bureaucrat, played superbly by Donald Pleasance.
THX goes in search of LUH. When he finds that her number has been reprogrammed to someone else, he tries to escape the city and go to the surface. There begins one of the most exciting, exhilarating and tense chase scenes in the history of cinema.
Most people will not find this bizarre movie to their liking, but it is filled with many of the favorite themes that Lucas placed in his STAR WARS epics. For example, the totalitarian society is monotone in color, filled with blacks and whites, just like the Empire’s storm troopers in the STAR WARS movies. Also, the hero, THX, much like Luke Skywalker, goes through a series of adventures as he tries to escape the totalitarian government that imprisons him and the other citizens. At the end of his journey, THX runs into a tribe of little people, much like the Ewoks in RETURN OF THE JEDI. The difference between these heroes and the totalitarian governments they fight, is that the heroes can transcend artificial, restrictive and arbitrary boundaries, but the governments cannot.
Though filled with bizarre sights and sounds, THX-1138 is an exhilarating tale of liberation. Regrettably, however, the movie has a couple strong sex scenes, a long shot of full female nudity and some shots of upper female nudity, and strong scenes of torture where victims are hit with electric-shock sticks (but with no gore). Shot in a detached manner, these elements are excessive and could easily have been cut.
Though filled with bizarre sights and sounds, THX-1138 is an exhilarating tale of liberation. The movie is filled with many of the favorite themes that Lucas placed in his STAR WARS epics. Regrettably, the movie has a couple strong sex scenes, extreme nudity and strong scenes of torture where victims are hit with electric-shock sticks (but with no gore). These elements are excessive and could easily have been cut or reduced without losing much of anything worthwhile.